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Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5799835
02/04/17 11:35 AM
02/04/17 11:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
I modified an existing toboggan to haul my dog. Bought the toboggan off a trapper who lurks on here... hi Rick. It was expensive as I had to buy him and his wife supper in Rekavik Iceland for it. That place is expensive ! No wolf there yet AK butI have your #9 all out and set . I also have approx 60 wolf snares out in 3 different bait setups and on trails. Wolves are spooked they know I'm after them . Problem with chasing same packs year after year is they get to know you. I move bait sets and change it up on footholds but they still make me work. I've been focusing more on other species but after Feb 14th it will be wolves only so we'll see how that works out. The Argo doesn't freeze up from crossing back and forth over open water but I make sure I run it through snow before parking for the night. I've had to thaw more than one sled track out though under same conditions. Headingback out Monday

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5800088
02/04/17 04:25 PM
02/04/17 04:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 281
Northern Manitoba
scootermac Offline
trapper
scootermac  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 281
Northern Manitoba
I always enjoy you pictures and stories Brian. How do you hold the bait in your green vertical marten boxes? I bought a few this year to try and really like them it just that I place mine horizontal.

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5800112
02/04/17 04:50 PM
02/04/17 04:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
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B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
The bait is inside red mesh bags. I just a tag end up through the holes until snug. Most martens teeth get caught up in the mesh. One bait lasts all winter usually.


Picked up another pretty x-fox.




Stuck his head into a cubby baited with a rabbit. 330 caught it across the forehead

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5800137
02/04/17 05:32 PM
02/04/17 05:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 281
Northern Manitoba
scootermac Offline
trapper
scootermac  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 281
Northern Manitoba
Thank you!

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5800602
02/05/17 12:35 AM
02/05/17 12:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
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B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
I see on AK post discussion on hiding tracks while hanging wolf snares. I drag a beaver carcass behind me.

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5800615
02/05/17 12:45 AM
02/05/17 12:45 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,516
Yukon
Y
yukon254 Offline
trapper
yukon254  Offline
trapper
Y

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,516
Yukon
Looks like you're having a good winter as usual Brian. I think your country is incredibly scenic. Do you have any trouble with traps falling out of those green plastic boxes ? I bought some this year and have noticed that traps will sometimes fall out.....it only happens with some, and seems to happen when the temperature changes quickly. Wonder if there is a cure as I really like the boxes.

Last edited by yukon254; 02/05/17 12:46 AM.

do unto others as you would have them do unto you

www.grizzlycreeklodge.com
Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5800918
02/05/17 11:30 AM
02/05/17 11:30 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
Dave I agree traps can slide out on vertical boxes. New boxes have pre-drilled holes in the corners of the boxes. You can make pins from #9 wire or cut up clothes hangers to slide into the holes after you place trap in box. The springs rest against the trap springs and can't fall out. Downside is marten stays inside box when trap fires instead of swinging free but that's usually no big deal. Other way of course is to bend supple spruce bough or willow over top of box and thread thru spring eyes putting tension on. When trap fires the bough falls out and trap swings free

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5809751
02/11/17 01:11 PM
02/11/17 01:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
Chasing Chadwick
Part One







“Clear and fine this morning, with a promise of a fine warm day. Today we hope to arrive in the sheep country; only a four-hour ride. Our present camp is right at the outlet of Femme Creek, into Sheep Creek, and there is a very strong sulphur spring just below us that empties a large volume of yellowish white water that stains Sheep Creek for over a mile. It smells strong enough so that it is rather disagreeable here in camp.”
L.S Chadwick journal, September 1935

A chill ran up my spine as I read the words quoted above. Here I was sitting inside my warm cabin, having just returned from a cold day of trapping along the banks of the very creek Chadwick referred to. I continued to read on, and found myself drawn into a hunting tale nearly three quarters of a century old.

“We were packed up and on the trail by 9:30, going up the Femme Creek. We found that a summer flood had torn out most of the trail and had filled the entire gorge with flood timber, and hundreds of tons of soft coal that had washed down from the cut banks. We traveled up to about 2 p.m., over a horrible trail, or rather, country without a trail; probably went about 10 miles to the summit of Femme Creek. We are now camped at the summit, in a nice place, well-shielded by spruce and balsams. The nicest camp site we have had so far, up about 7000 feet and with a snow drift at our back door.”


As I sat back in my chair the warmth from the wood stove made me sleepy and my mind started drifting. I thought to myself that while the name Chadwick by itself does not bring much recognition, just add the word ram and watch a hunter’s eyes light up. L.S. Chadwick had the distinction, way back in 1937, of harvesting one of North America’s finest trophies. Many consider the Chadwick Stone Sheep Ram, with over 60” of horn, to be the Holy Grail of sheep hunting.

While I knew that the Chadwick Ram had been harvested just over the B.C / Alberta border not far from where I sat, it came as a complete surprise to me to discover that L.S had also hunted extensively in the northern Alberta Rockies that I call home. It not for a series of fortuitous events I would never have come into possession of a copy of the hunting journals that Chadwick had written of his Alberta adventures.

I had become involved with a couple of conservation groups and it was during a fund-raising banquet that I found myself working alongside a feisty 84 year old lady by the name of Ishabel Cochrane. I knew that Ishabel, and her family the Hargreaves, had outfitted in the Willmore Park from the 1930’s on. In fact one of her uncles, George Hargreaves, was buried up in the high country on my trap line. He had passed away on a hunting expedition and in those days there was no way to bring a body out. I also knew that Ishabel’s father, Roy Hargreaves, had guided L.S. Chadwick when he took his famous ram.

While working the banquet Ishabel handed me a copy of two sets of L.S Chadwicks hunting journals, along with some original photos of the Chadwick ram. She wanted them placed into public domain so that the stories would not be lost. And that’s how I came to be reading the Chadwick journal later that winter.

“After we got located I took a short scouting trip and saw 9 sheep, a dozen caribou and lots of goats. One ram came down to within 200 yards of camp and I took pictures of him. This is wonderful country for game feed, and we should be able to get some good pictures and perhaps a good head or two. We had to kill several porcupines last evening, to keep them from eating up our kits, saddles, etc. We were up at 6:00 a.m., late for us, but the weather was not at all promising. After breakfast we started out for the top of a high mountain overlooking Femme Creek. We saw 40 or 50 sheep, mostly ewes and lambs, and a few small rams, but no good ones. The day finally wound up with a heavy thunderstorm, with rain, snow and sleet, together with the prospects for another bad day tomorrow.”
L.S. Chadwick

Mountains and bad weather go together. Ironically some friends and I had just packed in a sheep camp to the very same range that L.S had hunted in 1935. We had made our way on horseback deep into the wilderness, following an old hunting trail with 100-year old blazes marking the way. While the trail may have a long history, it hadn’t seen much use in recent years, and our trek was a tough one.

But when we reached our hard-won-destination we were rewarded with the prettiest camp I’ve ever set up in. One one-side a mountain stream raced downhill towards its eventual union with the Smoky River, while on the other a spring-fed-lake lay surrounded by a lush alpine meadow. Our first day in camp the weather was stellar, and we couldn’t wait to hit the high country. Once we started climbing it didn’t take long to get into sheep. As we crouched inside a field of jagged rock we watched as a band of rams made their way towards us.

It was soon evident that the rams were all youngsters and we settled back to see how they would react to us. Closer and closer they came until finally they stopped at 20 yards and peered at us over the edge of a sheer rock face. I looked upward at the nine heads
silhouetted against the blue sky and thought about how lucky I was to be alive, at that moment, in that place.

The next day however was a different story. I awoke to the sound of a torrential down pour slamming up against our tent. Soon a stream of water made its way across the dirt floor and I was glad that we, and our gear, were high and dry on top of a tarp. We spent the next three days waiting for a break in the weather, but to no avail.

We had one moment of false hope when the skies cleared up in the late afternoon of day two. We all traipsed out into the meadow and started glassing the slopes around us. Sure enough sheep came into view running across the ridges and feeding on the grassy plateaus. At this point all of our horses went on high alert, and we discovered a jet-black grizzly bear feeding on the upper ridge behind our camp. Although he was over 900 yards away the horses were locked onto him like radar. As watched the grizzly through our binoculars the fog and rain drifted back in and he and the sheep were soon hid from view. As I remember it no one went out into the pitch black darkness that night to relieve themselves!

The next morning we woke to more rain and sleet with no end in sight. A group decision was made to pull out before the rain raised the levels of the many watercourses we had to cross on our way home. As I pulled out of the meadow I vowed to return the following year and further explore what looked like excellent sheep country. Now as I sat with Chadwick’s journal in my hands my determination to return to the ranges he had hunted was intensified.


“Three fine days and a beautiful, clear morning, with a promise of a fine day. Roy and I started to hunt on foot as we only had 1½ miles to go before we were out of the timber. It was a hard slippery climb, but we were on top before 10:00 a.m. Right at the top and at the very topmost rocks, we came across five rams almost perfectly blended into the rocks. I could only see two of them, but it so happened that I could see the big one. I tried to shoot him at 150 yards but I overshot him. An easy shot and a perfect steady hold, but a trifle too high. He rushed out of sight, then turned back, and in a moment’s time his head and shoulders came in full view at the top of the mountain.

Here I was able to get a good steady bead on him at about 250 yards and he went down like a plummet, in spite of the fact he was a mighty small mark to shoot at. He was a fine, big nine-year-old ram, with only a 34 “ horn with 15 ½ “ bases; a big disappointment to me as I thought that he would go at least 38”, but the curl was too small. I shall have one more chance and hope to get a big head with at least a 38” yet. “
L.S. Chadwick

As promised to myself I did return to that sheep camp the following year, but now I had a problem. My muscles ached but I didn’t dare stir. One of the rams was locked onto my position waiting for me to move. The ram dropped his head pretending to feed, but then quickly jerked his head up, hoping to catch me making a mistake.










Brian Bildson Copyright 2016



Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5809791
02/11/17 02:05 PM
02/11/17 02:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
Chasing Chadwick – Part Two

I had started the morning off glassing a small band of ewes and lambs just above camp. After a brief interval watching the lambs frolic I had continued climbing higher and higher until finally cresting the ridge line, before me lay a beautiful alpine bowl. It looked like ideal sheep habitat with water, grass, and escape terrain, all within easy reach.
I side- hilled my way to the top of the bowl and started glassing, being careful to conceal myself from any observant sheep.

I soon spotted a bedded sheep, and as common with sheep hunting once one is spotted other sheep start popping out. In total I could see four rams, three were bedded and one was up feeding. Through my spotting scope it appeared that two of the rams were legal. My biggest problem was the lack of cover. The rams were across the bowl from me at the base of some steep cliffs. There was no terrain to conceal a stalk.

After evaluating the situation for a while I decided my only option was to slowly work my way around the top of the bowl eventually circling towards the rams. I scooted on my butt downslope so that my silhouette wouldn’t be outlined on the ridge top. I only moved when the rams were not looking my way.

It took over five hours for me to work my way along the bowl. During that period the rams mostly remained bedded. At times, they lay flat with their horns resting on the ground. Every so often one or two of them would rise for a short interval and graze on the short grasses. The two youngest rams had a short sparring session and I could hear the banging of their horns echoing across the basin.


As early evening fell I was getting within shooting range. The rams had risen and were slowly feeding in my direction. Every once in a while, one of the rams would peer in my direction trying to figure out what that strange lump on the hill was. I felt that as long as I waited them out, and didn’t move, they would stay calm. Eventually the rams fed behind a small knoll and I was concealed from their sight.

I quickly made my way to a small drainage ditch that had been my original goal. When I crossed it I figured I would be only about 40 yards from the sheep. I climbed the short bank of the ditch and lay down prone on the top. I found a flat rock to rest my rifle on and felt like I was shooting off a bench rest. As I waited I could see the horns of one of the rams enter my field of vision. It was almost time.

The kill was almost anti-climatic. The sheep fed their way onto a grassy plateau that turned out to be 35 paces from my position. The largest ram stood broadside in my scope and I slowly squeezed the trigger. The whack of a solid hit bounced of the rock walls and the ram staggered. He walked a few paces and bedded down, the other three rams huddled around him. The ram rose but was screened by his bachelor buddies. He took a few steps into the clear and I followed up with a second shot. The shot tipped the ram over and he slid down the slope and lay still.

As I made my way over to the ram his companions stood by his side, and then slowly moved off 75 yards. They remained there while I admired the sheep and gave thanks to be able to live, and hunt, in such glorious country. As it turned out my ram was pretty much the same size as L.S Chadwick’s sheep 75 years ago. Unlike him however I was satisfied with this ram and the way he was taken. Evening was fast approaching as I made my way back to my tent camp, and my patient wife who awaited me. I’d be leaving these mountains a happy man.








By the way L.S Chadwick also left happy. In those days a hunter could take more then one sheep so I leave you with these words.

“They say that all things come to him who waits; and we sure had a long, hard 40 day wait to get a real big ram. I came up here in the hopes of getting a forty-inch ram and I filled the contract this forenoon by getting a big one with 40-1/4” curl and 16-3/4” base with a 20-3/4” spread and a mighty fine head on a ram that would have weighed over 350 lbs. He sure made our hearts glad, as forty-inch rams are hard to find. We have seen at least 250 rams before this fellow. We had a fine pleasant trip – everyone is happy!”
L.S Chadwick 1935

And while these days a hunter must wait a couple years to take another Ram I was fortunate enough to keep my pursuit of L.S. Chadwick alive, and take a full curl ram in the years ahead. That ram requiring me to roll across an alpine slope with my gun clutched to my chest, hidden by a clump of dense shrubs. Only to rise up, and surprise a band of 11 rams standing on the other side of the concealing shrubs, giving me a rifle shot at a bow shot range.








And once again – everyone is happy!










Brian Bildson Copyright 2016



Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5809881
02/11/17 03:15 PM
02/11/17 03:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta








more sheep memories

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5809962
02/11/17 04:48 PM
02/11/17 04:48 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 7,706
Northern MN
O
Osky Offline
trapper
Osky  Offline
trapper
O

Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 7,706
Northern MN
Fantastic is not a big enough word.

Osky


"A womans heart is the hardest rock the Almighty has put on this earth, and I can find no sign on it"

www.SureDockusa.com
Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5810751
02/12/17 09:39 AM
02/12/17 09:39 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
Thanks. A friend put together a short film on one hunt. https://Vimeo.com/36151942?ref=em-v-share

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5810753
02/12/17 09:41 AM
02/12/17 09:41 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta

A month ago

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5810929
02/12/17 11:55 AM
02/12/17 11:55 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,059
juneau, alaska
A
alaska viking Online content
"Made it two years not being censored"
alaska viking  Online Content
"Made it two years not being censored"
A

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,059
juneau, alaska
Thanks, Brian. Excellent, as usual!


Made it almost 3 years without censor!

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5812025
02/13/17 04:59 AM
02/13/17 04:59 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,255
Homer, Alaska
Family Trapper Offline
trapper
Family Trapper  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,255
Homer, Alaska
A very good read Brian. Thanks for taking us along.

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5812600
02/13/17 06:59 PM
02/13/17 06:59 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,498
NWT
Ryan McLeod Offline
trapper
Ryan McLeod  Offline
trapper

Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 2,498
NWT
Good stuff!


If you take care of the land the land will take care of you
Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5813803
02/14/17 04:24 PM
02/14/17 04:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,043
NE ON
L
LeverAlone Offline
trapper
LeverAlone  Offline
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L

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,043
NE ON
Great write up Brian, makes me want to head out there. Some nice heavy looking rams in those pictures! You get to hunt in some of Canada's most beautiful and rugged country, I'm jealous.

Thanks for sharing the story!

Re: Mountain Journal [Re: LeverAlone] #5813984
02/14/17 07:00 PM
02/14/17 07:00 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,997
Kelowna BC Canada
trapper ron Offline
trapper
trapper ron  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,997
Kelowna BC Canada
Great postings as usual Brian. Always enjoy coming to catch up on your pages.

I have a question. I see on Nube's thread that you treat your outhouse with lye crystals and lime. Where do you buy the lye crystals? At one time we used "hot lime" in the outhouses but the only lime we can get anymore is just the type that is used on lawns or gardens. Not the same product at all. The old lime used to break down the "poop and paper" as well as control the odor.


Member BCTA
Trapping Instructor

"It's what you learn after you know it all that really counts."
Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5814574
02/15/17 01:00 AM
02/15/17 01:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,516
Yukon
Y
yukon254 Offline
trapper
yukon254  Offline
trapper
Y

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,516
Yukon
Good stuff as usual Brian......Roger B..........book wink


do unto others as you would have them do unto you

www.grizzlycreeklodge.com
Re: Mountain Journal [Re: Bushman] #5819688
02/19/17 07:05 PM
02/19/17 07:05 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
B
Bushman Offline OP
trapper
Bushman  Offline OP
trapper
B

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,017
Alberta
I appreciate the comments. Ron I bought the crystals at Peavy Mart. much the same results as the hot lime we both remember. Yukon 254 - still building inventory




Conditions on the trapline are crappy. Super warm weather burnt all the snow off the rocks and river ice. Spun a few 360's on the ice.









Our wolverine research project is still producing. A trapper from northern BC just returned a collar off a male he harvested. When the data was downloaded it showed the male had travelled from Northern Alberta over 200 miles straight line distance north into the NWT, before heading into North Eastern BC where it got caught. Impressive little walk about.





We also have a shot of another wolverine den from northern alberta. In this region snow depth is not a requirement for successful denning.



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